This exchange about the Democratic primary election, where state Rep. Matt Trieber will face challenger Chris Moore, took place in the comments on our website. We encourage our readers to jump into the fray. Profiles of Trieber and Moore appeared in last week’s Commons and are archived online.
Originally published in The Commons issue #165 (Wednesday, August 15, 2012).
Chris Moore has a good chance of earning my vote. But I’d like a qualification here. As a member of Bellows Falls’ middle class myself, having moved here nearly a decade ago, I know quite a few other middle-class people, both native and flatlander, who live here without benefit of trust funds.
The phrase “trust-funders” is generally used to smear those who have moved into the area with enough savings and income to establish a middle-class life here, many of whom don’t really have trust funds. If we want to have economic growth, we need to welcome newcomers with economic skills and resources.
It should not enter our politics to smear flatlanders as “trust-funders.” Especially not from a man who himself comes from a family considered to be part of the local gentry. I’m sure some of the better-off people born around here have trust funds. Does Chris?
Chris generally has good judgment, to which this is possibly the exception. I urge people to seriously consider supporting him. But he should disown this biased phrase.
Point well taken, Whit, and thank you for the opportunity to clarify. I did not intend to use the term to “smear flatlanders.”
For years now, I have observed a growing trend of flight from the area by middle class and educated youth. Because there are few job opportunities, people cannot rely on good jobs to live.
Therefore, the population is increasingly comprised of those who rely on money from the government and those who rely on money made in an economy somewhere else.
I crassly categorize them as the rich and the poor. The main point is that we have a shrinking middle class. I don’t think its a good thing.
You won’t find “trust-funder” in any of my literature or formal statements. I did cringe when I saw it here in print. I should have referred to “those who rely on sources of income other than the local economy as a principal means of sustaining their life/lifestyle.”
But I didn’t. It’s never too late to right a wrong, and let me take this opportunity to disown the phrase.
And by the way, I constantly remind people that we cannot blame the population that is here for our area’s woes. The people and businesses that gave up on our community or were forced out is what has hurt us.
I welcome all newcomers, as should we all. It is even better when they come and start a family and are woven into the fabric of the community.
Likewise, I don’t condemn the poor when I point out there are a lot of them in the area.
Thank you for urging people to consider supporting me. I look forward to being a strong advocate for our community.
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